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Monday, July 20, 2015

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms


Since the central nervous system (CNS) is affected in MS, all of the organs that are controlled by the CNS are affected by the disease at different points of time within its progression. The most common multiple sclerosis symptoms include:
• Fatigue, which gives a feeling of tiredness and lassitude with the loss of the urge and ability to work. This is a major factor behind the unemployment of people with MS. Fatigue is reported as a multiple sclerosis symptom in 80% of the cases.
• Numbness and tingling of the face, body, arms and legs become numb to sensations. This is one of the first multiple sclerosis symptoms in any patient. Facial muscle twitching and trigeminal neuralgia have also been reported in patients.
• Muscle spasms, which cause stiffness among the limbs and most involuntary muscles.
• Walking difficulties as a result of fatigue, muscle spasms, loss of sense of balance, and a deficit in the sensory nerve impulses is another common symptom.
• Bladder problems and dysfunctions are another set of very common symptoms, found in almost 80% of the patients.  Loss of nerve impulses makes one lose control over the urinary bladder. This is manageable with the help of supportive therapy.
• Lightheadedness, dullness and vertigo.
• Bowel problems, constipation, and diarrhea are also common.
• Pain in most areas is the most profound symptom of MS. Around 55% of the affected population report to having ‘clinically significant’ pain, whereas the rest report chronic pains in body parts.
• Vision problems, loss of eyesight, lateral vision, dizziness, blurring, eye-pain, are common.
• Optical neuritis, due to damage to the optic nerve, is a major indicator of MS in patients.
• Cognitive changes, memory loss and the loss of ability to learn new things is another sign of neurodegeneration and demyelination in the CNS.
• Sexual problems, including erectile dysfunction in men.
• Emotional changes, mood swings, irritation and clinical depression.
• Some of the lesser common symptoms include speech problemstremors (uncontrolled shaking) , dysphagia (swallowing problems), uncontrolled itching (due to sensations of being stabbed or pricked by needles), hearing loss, and headache among others.
As a result of these bothersome symptoms, daily life of patients with MS becomes adversely affected due to secondary reactions. Bladder problems cause urinary tract infections, fatigue causes loss of activity even on a normal basis, bone density decreases, and makes it all the more difficult to carry out routine, daily-life activities. This builds up over time as major factors for stress in patients, and affects their social lives as well.
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